UPLift--Poverty Alleviation For The Ultra-Poor

UPLift is a program designed to empower communities on the Thai/Burmese border that lack food security, opportunities for income, and education. Through the use of small grants and skills trainings, these families receive the opportunity to pull themselves out of poverty without having to rely on external aid indefinitely.

Monday, November 16, 2015

After rainy season, UPLift Program activities


During rainy reason, Uplift team visited several communities and schools for conducting surveys and assessments. Then the team moved on to schools and communities need analysis according to their surveys. After this process, we selected schools and communities which we aimed to work for 2015-2016 projects. The following activities will explain what the Uplift team has done after rainy season. 

Natural Farming and Basic gardening training
In September 15 2015, uplift team delivered basic natural garden training to the 75 students who are currently studying at Teacher Preparation Center (TPC). The presentation sections were allocated between the team members that each UPlift member was responsible for delivering certain topic. The training included basic knowledge of ecosystems and agriculture, soil management, natural farming (use of Indigenous Microorganisms (IMOs) without chemical fertilizers) versus chemical fertilizer farming and the compost making.  Once the theory part of training concluded, we made 3 different IMOs and some traditional Insect repellents. After this stage, we left the responsibility of garden care to the TPC students—broken into 6 groups each responsible for their represented area in the future. Many were able to draw direct links to how these methods could be used in the Myanmar village as well as sharing these skills to their friends, families, villagers inside Myanmar. Finally, we were very pleased with the outcomes of trainings and will continue to work towards improving our training with even more efficiency in the future with these students.

UPLift team delivering NF basic Gardening training at TPC school 

TPC students brainstorming different garden layouts 

TPC students making local indigenous microorganisms (IMOs) 

Natural School Garden
At the end of month September 2015, we chose to work with three Migrant learning centers such as Ah Yone Thit, Ah Yone Oo, and Sauchkha Hong Sar in order to provide natural garden techniques and add more nutritional meals to these children. In October, we began working with a school called Ah Yone Oo (AYO), which has over 130 migrant students. According to the follow-up by our agriculture officer, Sai Aung, teachers and students are eager to learn more about natural gardening methods. There were 20 students and two teachers who joined the garden training at AYO. The training included different sections such as basic knowledge of ecosystems and agriculture, soil management, Natural Farming (use of natural micro-organisms (IMO) without chemical fertilizers) versus chemical fertilizer farming and compost making by using natural resources and waste from school kitchen. In additional to that, the UPlift team shared on how to set up different planting crop layouts, such as container/recycled bottle gardening, sack gardening, vertical gardening, raised beds or traditional mounds and circle beds. On the second day of the training, KLDF team and students together made 2 raised beds together. At the end of October, AYO teachers and students made another 6 raised beds. Each week our Agriculture officer does follow-ups with AYO garden. In the month of November 2015, we plan to work another two schools for garden training and setting up garden at the each school.
Ah Yone Oo students making bamboo raised beds gardening  
AYO students filling green&dry materials into the raised beds 

AYO students making raised beds gardening 

Previous school gardens
In addition to that, the team also visited our previous school gardens and provided additional supports to them. The team did some follow up and provided mini-training to our previous schools such as how to make natural insect repellent, and a guide to making compost at school. Most of our previous schools are still running their garden such as Elpis, Minmahaw, New Wave, Sophia, Parami, Hway Ka Loke and TPC school.

Parami School Garden 

Min Ma Haw School Garden 

TPC School Garden 
 School Egg Laying Program
During rainy season, the team visited and did follow-up with previous school chicken projects (Love and Care, Hway Ka Loke, Ah Yone Oo). According to follow-up by our agriculture officer, Sai Aung, these schools were still running the projects with a good egg laying egg rate.  Each school had 20 egg’s laying chicken and they could collect at least 15 eggs a day. In fact, they had positive impact from this project. When we interviewed a headmaster from Ah Yone Oo, he explained that “The eggs that we got from this project were very helpful for our school as well as for our children, some of them we ate and some we sold in order to save budget for next round of feeds for chicken”. Additionally, at the beginning of September, the team chose another 3 schools to expand this successful chicken project. These new schools were Elpic, Rocky Mountain 2, and Oversee Irrawaddy Association (OIA) School.  With these new schools, we planned to deliver the Natural Farming Chicken Rearing (NFCR) training and setting up chicken coops in November 2015.
Ag Officer Sai getting eggs survey from AYO school

HKL chicken project collecting eggs 

Love & Care egg laying chicken enjoying
Financial Literacy Training (FL)
During the rainy season, the team conducted community’s surveys in order to find the representative community to work in 2015 and 2016. We visited several communities and met with women and community leaders such as Gate 14, Gate 17, Ban Soung Kwal, Bangladesh community, and Wan Sa Kim community. According to our survey results and community analysis, In October, we chose two communities to deliver Financial Literacy training such as Ban Soung Kwal and Gate 14 community where most of the women are undocumented and unable to work outside of the community. During the second week of November 2015, the team will deliver FL training to 20 women in Ban Soung Kwal community. For the Gate 14 community, the team will collaborate with 24 Wide Horizons students which will be in the month of January 2016. Last month, Moe Thu interviewed several more Ban Soung Kwal migrant women about their daily life, possible business ideas, and experience with household saving, household budgeting, and cultural/ethnic art, skill training interests which can help us tailor and plan a future FL Training for the women.

Small Business
In the rainy season, we started working with FL women from Ka Pi Ban community for small business. We worked with four women who attended our financial literacy training which was given by wide horizon students early 2015. These women initiated different kinds of business such as laundry service, trading dry goods, trading dry fish and lunch meal box service for migrant workers. After 3 months later, they returned their loan back to KLDF. In addition to that we went to the previous small business communities and followed up for their current business situation.
Lunch box service SBD member getting materials from UPLift 

UPLift team meeting with previous SBD member 

UPlift team meeting with women at BSK community 

Future target group
Beside above all project activities, UPLift also looked for another target group where we can implement our idea that could improve community member a long Thai-Myanmar as well as inside Myanmar. During rainy season we contacted several organizations, which worked inside Myanmar in order to get community information. We are planning to do community survey on December and implement some of our trainings at represented communities.